The Los Angeles Dodgers are looking like a team that can seriously contend for a World Series title this year and Mookie Betts has played a big role in that.
Betts has been on fire at the plate and continues to show us that pop in his bat. On Monday, he belted his sixth career grand slam and the 11th for the team this season, which tied a franchise record.
The seven-time all-star is putting together an MVP-caliber performance this season and has had a strong second half.
Through 106 games, Betts has hit 31 home runs, the fourth time in his career that he’s hit 30 or more in a season. This is also his second consecutive season where he’s hit 30 or more homers.
It is safe to say that Betts has handled the leadoff position quite well for the Dodgers. During those 106 games, he’s hitting .284 and has an impressive .582 slugging percentage.
Going into Tuesday, Betts was carrying a 14-game hitting streak.
After Monday’s 13-7 victory over the San Diego Padres, Betts talked about how the team always competes from the first pitch to the last.
“We just don’t give up,” Betts said in an mlb.com article. “We have to play all nine innings. Anything can happen at any given time, and we all know that. We’ve been around for a while, and the young guys are kind of taking to it. We have fun. That’s the main thing. We have fun playing the game.”
An important factor in any sport you are playing at any level is to have fun. When you’re having fun, good things tend to happen.
And you can end up hitting a grand slam as your only hit in the game, like Betts did on Monday.
“I don’t know if it’s that I don’t like the green light, I just don’t typically like swinging on 3-0,” Betts said on hitting that ball out of the park. “I still see myself as a leadoff hitter, and I’m supposed to get on base. Maybe that’s just kind of what’s been ingrained in me. But in that situation, I mean, especially with the momentum, I just felt we needed to try and score as many points as possible, and that was a good time to swing.”
Like Betts said, he’s trying to do his job as a leadoff hitter and get on base. But this season, we’ve seen him do more than just that, utilizing the long ball.
That win over the Padres gave the Dodgers the series win and manager Dave Roberts talked about how his team battled throughout the four-game series.
“It’s not easy. I think that comes with experience, in the sense that every at-bat, every pitch matters,” Roberts said. “Other teams could’ve just conceded and split the series, but to our credit, we kept scratching, clawing, putting together good at-bats. I think we snuck up on Lugo. He was sort of cruising, and we kind of fought back.”
With Betts leading things off for the offense, it can be a difficult task for opposing teams to have success against this lineup.
It will be exciting to see how Betts and the Dodgers continue to perform going into August and September.
This is one team that will be dangerous, especially when they’re clicking on all cylinders.